Saturday, April 23, 2011

Spring Cleaning

If you read my post , Aprils Fools, then you probably saw the part about my plan to clean up the canyon.  Well I followed through!  I got some friends interested in the idea, and we met this morning to make it happen.  We picked up trash for almost two and half hours, but there is still so much to collect.  We filled thirteen, thirty gallon trash bags, plus we found a flat screen tv, a microwave, four tires, and a sled.  Here are the pictures to tell the rest of the story.
Maren, myself, Amy, Tim, Jeff and Matt standing with our loot

Rolling the tires back to the truck

Jeff with the microwave

Tim with the flat screen

Matt, Jeff, Tim and myself surveying the pile

Who doesn't destroy the tv when they watch American Idol? 

As I mentioned, this is just a small amount of the garbage that is up there.  And I found that when I really began to look for every little piece, so much more stood out!  Honestly, with everything that is up there, I don't know if we'll ever get it under control.  The crap has been piling up for decades, and people still throw everything out, but removing a whole truck load today certainly made a dent in the problem.  I want to give props to Jeff and Tim Treft, Maren Nilsen, Amy Phillips and Matt Keeler.  They did an awesome job today and they're more than willing to help again.  We're going to start doing this once a month, I know they'll be helping, will you?

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Spring Break

This year for spring break, my mom wanted to go to St. George.  I'm not the biggest fan of the city so I was a bit apprehensive about going.  Finally I told her that I'd go, but only if she'd let me go to Zion's National park for a day and explore some of my favorite trails.  I've never been there in April and I was interested in seeing what the conditions were like this time of year.  I was also hoping to maybe spot a few rarely seen animals, and was thinking the slower hiking season would be my best chance in finding them.  Well I didn't really see any animals that I was interested in, in fact I found less than usual...  But the hiking was excellent!  We were just ahead of a storm system, so it was windy, which dropped the temperature, but we only got a sprinkle of rain, unlike the next two days, when it rained (and snowed) non-stop.  Anywho, The waterfalls looked great, the foot traffic was at a minimum,  and I got some good pictures.  I even got my mom to hike for over five hours, to some pretty gnarly spots, like scouts lookout, The safer part of angels landing!  

Lower Emerald Pools

Lower Pools from above

Upper Pools, with the wind interfering

Mangy little deer, they were everywhere!
The rest of the trip went pretty quickly.  We hung out with my grandparents for two days, and then headed home.  Maybe next year I'll see those animals...

Tuesday, April 12, 2011


Tim and I moved to a new place a few weeks ago and now we're living in a basement apartment.  It's been okay, but there is a family upstairs that has young children.  The kids run around all day and the parents are wonderful at forgetting to do the laundry till midnight.  I've become super ornery over them and today is no different.  But something just happened that changed my mind for the moment...  Someone up there is playing the piano, I can hear it as if it was a room away, and it's beautiful.

That anyone could believe music doesn't affect your mood is beyond me.  Five minutes ago I was pretty ticked about the noise upstairs, but now I'm throughly enjoying life.  It's amazing how quickly that can change...

Now the music has stopped.  Hopefully it'll start up again in a few minutes.  If not, maybe tomorrow!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Name Change

I've begun attending a new singles ward with Jeff, and today they received my records.  Not wanting to be one of those people that isn't there when their records are read, I was determined to be present.  Well this morning I woke up in St. George, a little over four hours from home, but church wasn't till 2:00, so I had time.  Around 8:30 in the morning, my mom and I rolled out of town, heading for the Wasatch front.  We made great time all the way up until Payson.  Since the beginning of this year I've referred to this area of Utah as crappy valley, and I meant it, but after today I'll never think of it any other way.  The construction went on forever!  I was stuck going under fifty-five for mile after mile,  slowly losing hope that I'd get home in time to get ready and make it to church on time, let alone before they introduced me to the congregation...

Luckily I did make it through the construction, just seconds before suffocating, and also made it to church twenty minutes before it started.  I made sure to tell the bishopric about my epic journey to get there on time, and they seemed to enjoy the story (which was greatly embellished.)  The time came to read my records, I was on the edge of my seat, anxious to stand up, ready to flash a giant smile to all of my peers.  The words came, Paul Curtis.  Paul Curtis? Paul Curtis! Who is Paul Curtis?  I remained seated for a few moments while they read a few other records, just to see if by chance there really was a Paul Curtis entering the ward.  As it turns out, my name was never read...  I immediately stood up and calling from the back of the chapel, corrected Brother Wood, who was conducting, telling him my name is Paul Carter.  He noted the correction, everyone had a good laugh, I was welcomed, and then sat down.  

For a few minutes I wondered if I had made a bad decision about voicing my name.  I worried that maybe interrupting had produced negative attention towards me.  Then I realized it was my name and I wanted it known!  I'm not Paul Curtis, I'm Paul Carter,  and that's that.  If anyone had considered me rude, so what, that's their problem.  

Well after the meeting I approached Brother Wood and gave him some guff about the mistake, how could I not?  Then something I totally didn't expect happened.  Two girls came up and wanted to know more about me!  These two girls were very very much out of my league, but yet I continued on a conversation with both.  We had a good chat and I moved on. It was a bit quick to make a move, but next time for sure! 

So why did I tell you this story?  Because I've figured out the secret to getting noticed!  All the girls I've ever taken interest in were just like these girls, as in b-e-a-utiful!  But it takes me ages to build up a friendship far enough to ask them out, but this was almost immediate, and it was awwwwwesome.  So from now on, I'm going in loud enough to be seen, but chill enough to be approachable.  Now if I can just figure out how to get to that second date...

The Hunger

So on my first brigade trip, Jake brought along a little treat for the hike, which I'm now addicted to...

Thanks Jake, there goes that whole "Lets lay off the sugar because I don't ever want diabetes" kick I was on!  Seriously though, these things are delicious, and I've since discovered the strawberry apple flavor as well.  Looks like I know what you'll find in my candy drawer from now on.
Editor's note: Paul was never on a "Lets lay off the sugar because I don't ever want diabetes" campaign,  It was more like a "Lets save the world from diabetes by consuming all the sugar" project.  Hey, sometimes you've gotta take one for the team...

Friday, April 8, 2011

Aprils Fools

For the last few weeks Jeff and I have wanted to get away from town and get the first northern camping trip of the year checked off our list.  As it always happens, the first weekend we'd planned didn't work out.  Luckily the second week did.  So on April first, we headed up Farmington canyon.  We left a little after dark because we had a few chores to get out of the way, but it was a short hike so we didn't mind much.  As it turns out, camp was a further up the canyon than we'd anticipated and when we began I didn't bring along all of my stuff, thinking it was a two minute hike and I could just run back to grab more.  Well it was more like a ten minute hike, which is still short, but not short enough for multiple trips.  We got to camp and soon had a small fire going.  I ran back down the trail to get the food, the whole time having that feeling of eyes staring me down, grabbed the rest of my gear, and tried to run back up, which didn't work, but at least I tried...  Eventually I did make it back up, without any mountain lion incident!  By this time Jeff had a great fire built up and I was able to eat dinner in just a few minutes.

After dinner we sat around the fire and talked for a while, having some laughs and taking in the clear night.  Eventually we decided it was getting late and we ought to think about sleep.  It was rather warm ( I was still in shorts) so we thought it'd be fun to sleep under the stars, and we did.  We crawled in our sleeping bags and took in the stars a little longer, slowly drifting off.  I woke up a few times in the night, but still had the best sleep I'd had in weeks, it was a perfect night.

I woke up early on Saturday morning and got to see an amazing sunrise, the direct sunlight didn't hit camp, but further up canyon it was blue skies with light, red clouds rolling in, absolute beauty.  I rolled over and went back to sleep.  The next time I opened my eyes, Jeff had just started the fire, what a champ.  I was able to get out of a warm sleeping bag and stand next to a warm fire.  We both had some oatmeal for breakfast and I made some nice hot apple cider as well. 

Packing up camp took about three minutes, and we hiked out, another adventure to remember!  But there was one problem with the trip, a GIANT problem...  We found so much garbage up the canyon, it was sickening.  There were countless beer and soda cans, many of them ripped apart by .22 rounds, along with targets, wrappers, and burned plastic.  We even came across live .22 rounds next to a fire pit and an old t.v. set!  It's disgusting how much trash has accumulated in the area, and it's ridiculous that no one cares enough to at least clean up after themselves.  Where anyone gets the idea that they can trash the world I don't know, and I'm happy to say I'll never know, because my friends and I will never be like that.  I've decided that I can and will do something about it.  I'm going to organize a clean up project to be done in the next few weeks.  While I may not get all of it, I'm going to get what I can, and I've got awesome friends that I know I can rely on to help me.  If anyone reading this wants to help, respond to this post and I'll let you know when it's going down.  Even if we only work for a few hours, we'll be doing something good for everyone.  I'm sure it'll just get trashed again, but if we don't try then we'll never know...